A Voice for Transit is a transit advocacy group composed of current Ryerson University students and alumni that was founded in March 2019. We take a evidence-based approach to addressing delays, overcrowding and transit inequity on Toronto’s transit systems, such as GO and TTC. Since our founding, we have contributed to the TTC’s stakeholder consultations in 2019, submitted comments to Metrolinx about the Ontario Line, and deputed on the City of Toronto’s 2020 municipal budget. Our membership is open with a priority placed on suburban and marginalized voices. We received initial funding from the Ryerson Leadership Lab in April 2019.
transit inequity, n. Transit equity seeks to understand the ways in which the system is fair and accessible among the needs of different populations.Foth, N., Manaugh, K., & El-Geneidy, A. M. (2013). Towards equitable transit: Examining transit accessibility and social need in toronto, canada, 1996–2006 Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.12.008
Our three key areas of focus are:
What access do individuals have to transit? What is the purpose of future transit developments?
What is the quality of trips? What is the user experience for riders on transit?
How much should fares cost? What are transit systems’ financial operating models? How can they change while still being public?
We need your help!
We are happy to welcome new members or to hear about a transit issue that we could be covering.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Log your next transit delay here.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Jean-François Obregon is Lead Analyst at Sustainalytics, a socially-responsible investment data provider. He has over 10 years of experience in financial services, public policy, Cleantech, and media. His roles have included working with the Canadian government on sustainable housing strategies in Latin America and expanding an LED streetlighting program in Québec. Jean-François holds an Honors in Business Administration from the Ivey Business School at Western University. He completed an exchange term at the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University.
Co-Founder and Director of Finance
Devan is a Financial Analyst at CIBC by day, and city-building enthusiast by night. He holds a Bachelors of Commerce from Ryerson University, with a specialty in Economics. He is interested in the interactions between Economics and Politics, and building a better society. In pursuing this interest, he found a passion in public transit systems and their impact on productivity and quality of life.
Director of Innovation
Ozora is an avid Jeopardy viewer, dessert enthusiast and a recent Master of Environment and Business graduate. She is experienced in developing sustainable operations focused on climate change adaptation and stakeholder engagement. She is passionate about creating sustainable public transit. Public transit offers the ability to connect with different opportunities, cultural experiences, and people and requires sustainable development to ensure it meets the needs of future generations.
Director of Data and Technology
When Faizan Ahmed isn’t reading niche fantasy novels or biographies of famous people he’s writing… code! He is passionate about exploring novel applications of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, and believes that all data has stories to tell — if we’re willing to listen to them. With over 5 years of business development experience, he uses his analysis and data storytelling skills as a Business Analyst for Nytilus, a tech-engineering and consulting firm. In the public sector, Faizan believes in fostering increased public interaction in politics through active listening to the people and backing their voices with strong data. Through these, it is more likely to instigate meaningful, long lasting change that individuals can be proud of for taking part in.
Co-Founder and Director of Fundraising
Sherwin Lau is a proud Hong Kong-Canadian who is Bilingual in Cantonese and English. Currently, he works as a Program Assistant for Centre of Equality Rights in Accommodation researching housing rights and finding answers to urban living. With a strong interest in community collaboration and collective organizing, He’s organized several on-campus overdose prevention trainings in Toronto and is always open to new research challenges. Earlier in April 2020, he was co-authoring a literature review deciphering conflict graffiti in Hong Kong’s metro space. He holds a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies from University of Waterloo, and an undergraduate focus in Public Policy and Political Science from Ryerson University.
Director of Communications, Content Creation
Austin Devaraj is a Journalist and Director of Communications and Content Creation at A Voice for Transit. His reporting can be seen on CJRU 1280 AM’s The Scope News. Fluent in French, English and Tamil, Austin is passionate about communications and is pursuing a Bachelor of Journalism at Ryerson University, of which he is in his third year. Growing up in the City of Toronto, he took transit throughout his childhood, developing a strong sense of understanding of the important role it plays in the lives of Torontonians. Through content creation and executing effective communications, he hopes to bring about real change through transit advocacy.
Stephen Wickens is a semi-retired journalist and transportation researcher who has written extensively on public transit and real estate issues. A life-long Torontonian, he has worked at four major daily newspapers in a career spanning more than 45 years. He recently completed a report commissioned by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario titled “Station to Station: Why Subway-building Costs Have Soared in the Toronto Region.” https://www.rccao.com/research/files/RCCAO-STATION-TO-STATION-REPORT-APRIL2020.pdf